What do root canals have in common with triathlon?

Posted Ella Villas Articles

Despite the myth, the Chinese characters, 危机 do not mean crisis=opportunity.

However, there is an expression/saying 危机与机会并存/机遇与挑战并存, which means “opportunity accompanies crisis/challenge”. “Opportunity” is an explicit part of the phrase.

This phrase is often used to describe a time of change.

Change is something that is happening to you on a daily basis, even if you try to keep things the same.

Your body is constantly in a state of change.

For most of my life, I didn’t have any teeth issues, beyond a few minor cavities.

Then, in 2012, I had to get an “onlay”, which is basically a porcelain filling.

These are supposed to last a lifetime.

Not the most fun procedure but not terrible. Afterwards I thought “DONE!” and for the next 4 years had no problems with that tooth.


I went in to get a teeth cleaning early in January. That tooth was having problems. “Feels weird!” is how I described it to my dentist.

New year. New problem. Crisis?

It turns out I will likely need a root canal.

Root canal? Sounds horrible. Turns out it’s not as bad as it sounds, and there are people who specialize in these and make it virtually painless.

New year, new problem. Where’s the opportunity? It’s still lots of time and money spent on getting out of something really bad, right?

Well, there IS a positive spin. And it relates to triathlon. And swimming. And mostly, overcoming adversity, which is what so many told me your WHY for doing triathlons is on a recent webinar for The Fit Triathlete.

Having never had dental issues, this “crisis” of needing to get a root canal is an opportunity for me to deal with a little adversity, and there is a great opportunity for growth.

Once the procedure is over and done, I can empathize better with those who have had the same issue.

I’m also much more educated on what to do in this situation. There are so many dangers of root canals and it’s advised to see an endodontist instead of a regular dentist for this.

I’m already learning so much and growing from the experience!

Growing through adversity. Every time you jump in the water, think about this. Just by getting in, you are overcoming a tiny bit of resistance (for me it can be a lot of resistance if it’s cold out!)

Multiple times per week in the water means multiple opportunities for growth.

And you don’t even have to get a root canal to get these benefits. 😉

Befriend the swim!